Cardboard Citizens Critically Acclaimed Hit CATHY Returns for Edinburgh Festival Fringe Run
Following its hugely successful UK tour, acclaimed theatre company Cardboard Citizens comes to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for the first time with its critically acclaimed production Cathy, featuring the original cast.
Cathy premiered last autumn following Cardboard Citizens one-off theatrical re-staging of Ken Loach's seminal work Cathy Come Home at the Barbican. Inspired by the iconic film, award-winning playwright Ali Taylor's (Cotton Wool, OVERSPILL) new play continues Cardboard Citizens exploration of the state of housing and homelessness. The powerful and emotive show, which transfers to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Cardboard Citizens' 25th anniversary year, is directed by Cardboard Citizens Artistic Director Adrian Jackson and explores how life might be for a Cathy today.
Based on true stories, this timely reflection looks at the social and personal impact of spiralling housing costs and the challenges of forced relocation out of city centres experienced by many people on council waiting lists.
While the UK tour featured a Forum Theatre section, following the performance of the play, Edinburgh audiences will experience a similar style of interactive theatre called Legislative Theatre. This will offer audiences a chance to voice their opinion at every performance, take action, express their views and contribute to the proposal of new housing laws. The new format follows the high-profile performance ofCathy at the House of Lords earlier this year when the company presented to MPs the top five housing laws suggested by audiences on the UK tour.
First broadcast in 1966 on the BBC, Cathy Come Home, the inspiration for Cathy, depicts a young family's slide into homelessness. The first screening of the film led to public outrage at the state of housing in Britain and became a defining cultural landmark, demonstrating the power of art to effect social and political change. Of the Cardboard Citizens staging last year, Ken Loach said: "There are more people made desperate by having no home now than when Cathy Come Home was first made. Then, we still had council housing... Now, we only have the market. And the market has failed. It gives us luxury apartments in tower blocks for investors while families live in over-crowded single rooms. The lesson from Cathy is that we need to plan - for council housing, for secure jobs alongside the houses and for a proper infrastructure for schools and healthcare. All the rest is propaganda."
Cathy premiered in October at London's Pleasance Theatre with The Stage commenting in its four star review: "At a time of escalating house prices and entrenched inequality, a touching and troubling productions like this may be just as urgent now as they were half a century ago."
As with all Cardboard Citizens productions, a proportion of tickets for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe run will be made available to people with experience of homelessness at £1.
Cathy follows Cardboard Citizens' Home Truths, which features the world premieres of nine new plays exploring the history of housing. The season runs at The Bunker in London until 13 May. More information can be found here.
Adrian Jackson (director) is the Founder, Director and Chief Executive of Cardboard Citizens. Adrian founded Cardboard Citizens in 1991 and since then he has directed over 30 productions for the company, devising and writing many of them including Pericles and Timon (with RSC) The Beggar's Opera (with ENO),The Lower Depths (with London Bubble), Mincemeat (winner of Evening Standard award) and Home Truths (currently running at The Bunker in London). He directed his own play, A Few Man Fridays at Riverside Studios in 2012, and Kate Tempest's Glasshouse in 2013. In 2013 he also wrote and performed an intervention in Elmgreen/Dragset's installation Tomorrow at the V & A. Adrian also teaches the Theatre of the Oppressed methodology all over the world.
Ali Taylor (playwright) trained at the Royal Court Young Writers' Programme. His first play Cotton Wool at Theatre503 won the 18th Meyer Whitworth Award. Ali went on to be one of the winners of 'Metamorphosis08', a new play competition run by the Churchill Theatre, Bromley, for his play Overspill. It was performed at the theatre before transferring to Soho Theatre. His writing for young people includes two plays for Polka Theatre: Sticks and Stones and an adaptation of The Machine Gunners (shortlisted for the Brian Way Award). His work also includesConspiracy (RWCMD/Gate Theatre), Under My Skin (Pegasus Theatre), Fault Lines (Hampstead Theatre) and his radio plays for BBC Radio 4 including Eight Feet High And Rising and Cinders.
Alex Jones (multi-role male) is best known for his role as Clive Horrobin in the long running BBC Radio 4 Contemporary drama The Archers and subsequently Archers & Ambridge Extra, as well as over 100 other radio plays including Heartlands with BBC Radio 4 producer Jane Marshall, The Old Curiosity Shop and Albion Tower (winner of the Gold Sony Award). Recently he played Keith Loader in BBC's Doctors, other television and film includes Jane Eyre, Fourth Arm, The Specials, Birds Of A Feather, Back Up, Boon & Hardcases, Faster, Harder, Longer and the BAFTA nominated film Rhubarb And Roses. His theatre credits include Shakespeare And Various Irish Extracts for the University of Birmingham (dir. Gwenda Hughes), The Mysteries at Coventry Cathedral for Belgrade Theatre (dir. Barry Kyle), Gilgamesh (dir. Claudette Bryanston), I'm A Minger (dir. Amy Bonsall) and productions at Birmingham Repertory Theatre including Of Mice And Men, Swamp City, Ash Girl and The Tempest.
Amy Loughton's (multi-role female) theatre credits include: Dear Uncle, Neighbourhood Watch (both Stephen Joseph Theatre/No 1 Tour/59E59 New York), A View From The Bridge (Theatre by the Lake, Keswick), Peter Pan (New Vic, Stoke-on-Trent), Women, Power and Politics (Tricycle Theatre), Nation (National Theatre), Apart from George (Finborough Theatre), Blueprint for Write by Numbers (Bike Shed Theatre), Sergeant Jackson in Almost Near (Finborough Theatre), Theatre Cafe Festival (Company of Angels) and The Killing of Sister George(Dramatic Productions). Her film credits include British features Crowhurst (Great Point Media) and Aux (Evolutionary Films). TV credits include Talking to the Dead (Sky/Warp Films), EastEnders, Holby City and Emma (all BBC).
Cathy Owen's (Cathy) theatre credits include: Home Truths (Cardboard Citizens, The Bunker), This Wide Night (Clean Break, Soho Theatre UK Tour), The Last Valentine (Almeida), Silent Engine (Pentabus, Fringe First Winner), Kolbe's Gift (Leicester Square Theatre), Edwina: A Cautionary Tale for Grown Ups (The Stadsteatern, Stockholm, BAC), Mother Courage and her Children (National Theatre of Wales), A Chaste Maid in Cheapside (Almeida UK Tour), Macbeth (Ludlow Festival), Shrew'd: Taming of the Shrew and The Tamer Tamed (Arcola), Marisol(Southwark Playhouse). Her Television credits include The Bill (TalkBack Thames); Casualty; Crown Prosecutor (BBC) and The Life and Death of Philip Night (YTV/Waller Films).
Hayley Wareham (Danielle) trained at the Oxford School of Drama. Work since graduating includes: This Secret Life (Tour) Strawberry Starburst (Brockley Jack Theatre) and Is This Rape: Sex on Trial (BBC3). Hayley has just completed the Soho Theatre Writers' Lab.